Filed Under Havre

Post Exchange

Fort Assinniboine Historic District

Frontier capitalist C. A. Broadwater received the contract to provide locally manufactured bricks and timber, hauled from the Bear’s Paw Mountains, to construct Fort Assinniboine. He hired five hundred Métis (mixed-blood Chippewa-Cree) from the Upper Red River Valley to make bricks using a machine that could manufacture up to 25,000 a day. As post trader, Broadwater also received the stage and freight contracts and the franchise to operate the post store. He used his own brick to build one of the largest structures at the fort. With its character-defining parapet, this building is only a remnant of Broadwater’s 1879 trading post, which ultimately included a large general store, two large warehouses, a photography studio, barbershop, saloon, attached officer’s club and hotel/restaurant. Here military families could purchase such luxuries as smoked oysters, hair brushes, and silk handkerchiefs. The store soon became a center of trade for the surrounding territory. Broadwater also built an Indian trading hut, for taking in furs from the Métis and other Indian peoples. Around 1892, the army bought out Broadwater. The post quartermaster ran the operation until the army abandoned the fort in 1911.

Images

Post Exchange Post Exchange. Front view of the building, facing west to northwest in the driveway of the structure off of Fort Circle. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Becki Miller Date: Oct. 2015- June 2016
Post Exchange Post Exchange. Side to front view of the building, facing south to southwest near Fort Circle. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Becki Miller Date: Oct. 2015- June 2016

Location

County Road 82nd Avenue West, .5 miles southeast of US 87, Havre, Montana | Public

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Post Exchange,” Historic Montana, accessed December 3, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/658.